It happened quietly. There was no press release in advance, no follow-up articles in the local papers. But rumor has it that a “peanut-free” section was offered to a number of peanut-allergic fans and their families for a major league baseball game in New England on Tuesday, July 8, 2008. Attendees report a wonderful time was had by all and give the team and park management an A+ for the accommodations.
The discussion about baseball games in the food allergy community tends to focus on the "peanut-free" aspect of the accommodations. It's easy to almost overlook the basic issue of space and demand for seats. For the last few years, major league baseball teams with large fan bases have discreetly offered limited “peanut-free” seating. And we can see why discretion is needed. Understandably, it would be difficult (and probably unwise) for the ballclubs with so many diehard fans to publicize with great fanfare the accommodations made for their peanut-allergic fans. It is hard enough for a non-peanut allergic fan who is willing and able to sit anywhere anytime to get a seat at certain baseball stadiums! But it is good to know that accommodations have been made, and that peanut-allergic fans have an opportunity to attend a baseball game, America’s favorite pastime.